What is Nostr?

30 Sept 2023

If you have been following my articles, you know I am a big fan of social blockchain projects. I have written about projects such as TangledUhiveTorum, and DeSo.
These projects are amazing and worth checking out, but I have recently encountered a social blockchain project that might be the king of social blockchain projects. This project is called Nostr.

What is Nostr?

In 2019, the ingenious minds of Fiatjaf and Ben Arc collaborated to give birth to Nostr, a creation with a profound purpose. Short for “Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relay,” Nostr is not just a network protocol, it’s an open-source marvel that has reshaped the landscape of social networking.
The first Nostr Protocol and Relay was created at the end of 2020. In 2022 Nostr got the attention of Jack Dorsey who donated 14 Bitcoin directly to Fiatjaf. In 2022 that was worth roughly $245,000 but today that would be worth roughly $350,000. Imagine what that will be worth in the next 5 to 10 years. — Info Source
Its creation can be traced back to the non-profit offshoot of Zebedee (to learn more about ZEBEDEE click here) known as No Big Deal (NBD). NBD has been a huge advocate for the development of open-source Bitcoin technology, and it served as the fertile ground where the seeds of the Nostr protocol were first planted.
At its core, Nostr is a protocol that empowers individuals by returning authority and control to the hands of the people. Nostr protocols start a new era in social networking.
As Nostr took shape, it became clear that it had the potential to revolutionize the way we interact, communicate, and share information. Its evolution grows the strength of collective creativity and the drive to create technologies that genuinely serve the greater good. Nostr uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

What is the Bitcoin Lightning Network?

Image by Valentin from Pixabay
Imagine the Lightning Network as a turbocharger for Bitcoin — it is a second layer of the Bitcoin blockchain that grows Bitcoin's potential. The Lightning Network allows users to fly through transactions instantly and with pocket-change fees. The original Bitcoin Blockchain can take up to 10 minutes per transaction but can be widely different based on things such as transaction fees, hash rate, and how many people are using the Blockchain. The fees for each transaction can be anywhere from $1 to $8 depending on the same factors as transaction speed. This can change depending on different circumstances and the amount you are trying to send or exchange.
To learn more about Bitcoin transaction speeds and gas fees check out the links below.
How Long Do Bitcoin Transactions Take?
What are Crypto gas fees?
Something needed to happen for wider adoption and to make Bitcoin easier to use for the average user. I think the majority of people who use Bitcoin and other Crypto projects are like me. We only have a small amount that we have been accumulating over the past couple of years. The average user can not afford such high gas fees.
Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja were the first to formally propose the Lightning Network in a 2016 paper. — Source
In 2016, a solution emerged to tackle Bitcoin’s growing pains — the Lightning Network. This clever network was born out of the need for Bitcoin to catch up in terms of transaction speed and affordability.
Picture the Lightning Network as your direct highway for transactions. It allows personalized payments between Bitcoin users. These payments let two parties engage in transactions without waiting for the traditional blockchain green light — no more holding your breath for confirmations. Traditional Bitcoin transaction confirmations take an average time of 10 minutes. The Lightning Network takes anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds!
The Lightning Network is a game-changer, making money transfers lightning-fast. There are some aspects of the lightning network that not everyone is happy about though. Bitcoin was all about self-custody, as they say, “Not your keys, not your Crypto.” So, while the Lightning Network is lightning fast, it comes with a trade-off, convenience or control, you decide.

How Does Nostr Work?

Image by SovrynMatt
Nostr is resilient because it doesn’t rely on a small number of large servers for moving or storing data. Users can connect and publish to a growing number of “relays” that can change over time.
Nostr is a groundbreaking decentralized social media protocol that allows users to exchange messages with a unique twist, no central server is needed. How’s that for putting the power back in your hands? Everything is broadcasted and stored using Relays.
Nostr uses something called relays. Anyone can run these relays. You will need a little know-how (well quite a bit) but anyone with some free time can start the process. I am planning on learning more about relays in the future. I am still learning but plan to be as involved as possible with the Bitcoin Lightning Network and Blockchain technology as a whole.
What are relays? Relays are like the backend servers for Nostr. They allow Nostr clients to send them messages, and they may (or may not) store those messages and broadcast those messages to all other connected clients. The world of relays is changing fast so expect many changes here in the future.
Relays are not just passageways for information but message hotspots, storage units, and the digital hubs that power Nostr’s engine. So when you hit “send,” it’s these relays that make sure your message reaches its intended recipient.
If you would like to know more about Nostr relays then check out these in-depth articles.
How To Run A Private Nostr Relay
5 Types Of Nostr Relays
What is a Nostr Relay?
Cryptographic Keys & Pseudonymous Identities
Rather than depending on centralized entities such as Google or Facebook for user authentication, Nostr employs the use of cryptographic keys. In this system, every user possesses a set of keys: a confidential private key and a public key that they readily share with others. To log in, individuals wishing to confirm their identity simply demonstrate their authenticity by signing a message using their private key. — Source
So what are cryptographic keys and signatures? They’re like the locks and keys to your virtual thoughts, ensuring only you can unlock and send them. These keys also leave an electronic signature — a trail that verifies your authenticity and marks your digital footprint.
Nostr allows you to be who you want to be in the digital world. You can embrace an alter ego, an online persona, or just be you — all while staying hidden under the cloak of pseudonymity. Your posts, authorized by your cryptographic keys, are your digital masterpieces and invincible to censorship attempts.
In a world where every character typed and every thought shared can be scrutinized, Nostr is a rebel with a cause. It stands tall as a defender of free expression and individuality, ensuring external forces don’t muffle your voice.

The Best Nostr Applications

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
When I first started using Nostr applications (also known as Clients) I was overwhelmed by the amount available. I searched for a way to get a detailed list of all of the apps available. There are multiple websites you can choose from but the best website I have come across so far is called “Nostr Apps”, a directory created by the creative mind of Karnage. Nostr Apps is a neatly packaged online hub.
Kudos are in order to the brain behind this fantastic resource. With “Nostr Apps,” the search for a comprehensive list ends, and the journey into the heart of Nostr’s applications begins. Sure, other websites attempt to map out the Nostr landscape, but let’s be real — this one takes the cake.
Nostr has a lot to offer, and it is open source which means anyone can build on it. This means that the number of Apps will always be growing and evolving.
The best way to find the apps/clients that work for you is by trying each one. Each platform is good in its own way. So some platforms might be better to use on your phone while others might be better to use on your computer. The sky is the limit when it comes to Nostr clients and this is just the beginning of what is to come.


ZEBEDEE — ZEBEDEE is a great resource for people interested in learning about the Bitcoin Lightning Network. It allows you to earn Crypto by playing games, and taking surveys, and connects you directly to Nostr by having its own built-in Social Platform.
Damus — A popular social client for iOS
Primal — Primal is a great way to enjoy Nostr using your browser.


Nostr Band — Nostr data and statistics advanced search.
Nostrends — See what’s trending on Nostr
Zaplife — See who zaps who on Nostr


Stemstr — Music collaboration and sharing client for producers and artists.
Wavman — Fun nostr music player
Fountain — The podcast app that pays


Zap.Stream — Live stream and zap


Habla — A long-form content client for nostr notes
Blogstack — Decentralized blogs over relay using nostr w/ ⚡ lightning tips
Flycat — Explore Nostr universe and long-form content
What I shared above is barely touching the surface of Nostr. Check out Nostr Apps for a full list and an easy-to-use directory.
But the real magic lies in what’s to come. With Nostr’s doors wide open to the world's creative minds, the possibilities are as boundless as the digital realm itself. Picture a future brimming with platforms that stretch the limits of imagination, all powered by Nostr’s foundation. The potential is sky-high, from apps that redefine how we socialize to platforms that reinvent how we shop or exchange ideas.
As the world catches on to the significance of this technology, brace yourself for a surge of interest that could rival a digital gold rush. Imagine a rush of curious minds and passionate explorers meeting to witness The Lightning Network in all its glory. It’s like being front-row spectators to the birth of a digital revolution.
As platforms continue to flourish and innovations continue to unfold, the Nostr ecosystem is poised to redefine how we interact, create, and envision the digital landscape. The age of Nostr has dawned, with it, a future that has the potential to rewrite the rules and reshape our digital identities.

What are Zaps?

Image by Pete Linforth and OpenClipart-Vectors
Another amazing aspect of Nostr is being able to be “monetized” pretty much right when you start using the Nostr Protocol. This is done by Zaps. A “Zap” is the term for when someone sends you anywhere from 1 satoshi all the way up to 1,000,000 satoshis.
This allows for the average Joe to start earning from their content right away. You do not have to wait until you reach a certain amount of followers or anything along those lines. If someone likes your post or the information you share they can Zap you accordingly. Anyone has the chance to earn from posting and interacting. If someone likes your comment on their post they can Zap you. The more interactive you are and the more people align with you what have to say the more Zaps (Sats) you can earn.

The Future of Nostr

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay
Gone are the days of corporate giants calling the shots on our digital existence. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology are the game-changers that are turning the tables on the status quo. People do not realize that their digital freedom is right around the corner, you just have to know where to look. Platforms such as NostrTangledUhive(VD4R7R), Torum, and many more are showing us that we have the power to take back our digital selves. Imagine not having to reach a certain following count to start monetizing your content. Imagine being able to earn from your first post. It is possible thanks to platforms such as Nostr.
Imagine a world where big platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and their kin suddenly find themselves with a formidable rival. A wave of replacement platforms, spearheaded by Nostr, Tangled, DeSo, Uhive, Torum, and more have come knocking. These platforms aren’t just alternatives, they’re a digital revolution, offering a fresh take on sharing, expressing, and monetizing our online lives.
Brace yourself for a reality where the sky is the only limit. Thanks to Nostr’s ingenious open protocol and the power of decentralized relays, the future isn’t just bright — it’s an open canvas. Each platform is born from the passion and ingenuity of creators from all corners of the globe.
So, let’s raise our digital glasses to Nostr, the catalyst that sparked this seismic shift. We’re standing on the brink of a new era, where the digital world isn’t a playground for the select few but a canvas where anyone can paint their masterpiece. As the days unfold, as relays fire up, and as dreamers set their sights high, one thing’s certain, the future of technology just got a lot more exciting.
To get an idea of updates and information about the Nostr network check out nostr.report.

Final Thoughts

Image by Piyapong Saydaung from Pixabay
Since Bitcoin first came onto the scene in 2009, the buzz has been unstoppable. With each passing day, it’s as if a new page of history is being created. As more people begin to realize its significance, it becomes clearer that Bitcoin and its crypto companions are here to stay. It’s a tech evolution that’s not taking a back seat anytime soon.
Now, let’s set the record straight — not every crypto-project is cut out for the long haul. Among the gems, there are plenty of duds too. These imitators are clones crafted to cash in on the craze while leaving the genuine spirit of innovation behind. It’s a reminder that not every coin glittering in the crypto cosmos is worth its weight in code.
But let’s take a step back. Cryptocurrency? It’s not just changing the currency game, it’s flipping the script entirely. How we spend, save, and invest money has seen an irreversible shift. For some of us, it’s a revelation, a glimpse into what Bitcoin and its pioneering siblings are bound to become.
Consider this article your gateway to understanding that Bitcoin isn’t fading into obscurity — it’s powering up, growing mightier by the day, and forging a path that others can only follow.
I hope this has provided you with valuable insights into the world of Bitcoin, Nostr, and the Lightning Network. While I wouldn’t claim to be an expert in Bitcoin, I have eagerly pursued knowledge and noticed the potential Bitcoin holds. Each day, I am dedicated to deepening my understanding of this transformative technology, convinced that it is reshaping our world in a huge way.
Nostr Website — Nostr website (Nostr domain on sale for $5 million, may host Lightning wallet services if unsold)
Nostr Apps — Detailed list of Nostr Apps
Nostr Report — Updates about Nostr
If you would like to find ways to earn Bitcoin using the Lightning Network then check out ZEBEDEE. If you would like to know more about ZEBEDEE then check out my previous article on Medium or my YouTube video.
If you're looking for a new play-to-earn platform that uses the Lightning Network then I suggest checking out Satlantis.
Check out the list below for all of my favorite ways to earn online.
Blogging, gaming, writing, reading, listening, the sky is the limit when earning Crypto.
Faucets and PTC (Point to Click) Website/Apps
FaucetPay — FaucetPay is a microwallet that connects you to multiple earning websites and allows you to deal in microtransactions without having to pay high gas fees. Click here to learn more about this earning opportunity.
Cointiply — Earn BTC, DOGE, ETH, and LTC
GlobalHive — Earn ZEC
CoinPayz — Earn multiple different types of Crypto
Social Blockchain
Tangled — XLM
Torum — XTM
Uhive — (Code:VD4R7R)HVE2
Desofy — (Code: Fynxik) — DeSo
MAIN — MAIN token on BNB blockchain
LoftyAI — Real Estate that runs on the Algorand Blockchain. Buy fractions of Real Estate and earn Daily from your investment.
Atlas Earth — or use 0GNQNB
Blogging for Crypto!
Medium — You do not earn Crypto from Medium but you can use this amazing blogging platform to get your content out there. After 100 followers you can start earning money. It takes a little time but it is worth the effort.
read. Cash — Earn BCH
PublishOX — Earn AMPL, ETH, and SPT
G’day Fam — Earn XRP
Watch videos and earn
Slice — Earn Crypto or PayPal by watching YouTube or browsing!
Crypto Sense — Watch ads and play games. Withdraw from over 20 different types of Crypto!
Play to Earn
Womplay — Earn EOS, MATIC, pBTC
ZEBEDEE — Earn Bitcoin LN
Listen to Podcasts and earn Bitcoin
Fountain — Earn Bitcoin by listening to podcasts.
Thank you for reading my article about Nostr!
Please like, follow, and comment to help my page grow.
Follow me on Twitch and zap.stream to watch me play Satlantis M — F from 9:30 pm to 11 pm!
Check out my YouTube channel for all of my videos.
Check out my website for all my content and learn more about Crypto!
Hatty’s Shack
Original article posted 13 Sep 2023 on Medium
New article coming next week!

Write & Read to Earn with BULB

Learn More

Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to HattyHats


Interesting projects here all
I must look up this nostr thing
Good write up. Very detailed. I wonder about the unit economics for consumers and creators here. It's really just protocol standard as I understand it from your article so there's no larger organisation putting monetisation tools into place. Tipping is not going to scale. Never has, never will. It's a nice feature but you need solid mechanics to sustain projects. It's instructive the largest and most successful tipping platform today, Patreon, only exists as a supplement to it's creators incomes. An important one no doubt, but their main incomes are derived from the core mechanics of the other platforms they use e.g., YouTube > ad revenues, OnlyFans > subscription revenue. What do you think is going to be a core mechanic that can sustain longer term growth? Or is there non-tipping mechanics here already that are promising?
What do you think of New Bitcoin City (formerly Alpha)? https://newbitcoincity.com/ It's the friend.tech fork on Bitcoin.
Gary Cartlidge
Very interesting, going to need to do some digging.
I think Nostr is a must have for all bitcoiners and people who believe in decentralization.
I'll give nostr a try, too, and the other platforms you mention, thank you
Very interesting article, thanks
Thanks for the detailed write up, will have to give nostr a look
Very Interesting, what do you think about LENS protocol? https://twitter.com/LensProtocol
Great, thanks for the news, I got to check it.
great post
Nostr is the future of the future of social media